TIMES OF INDIA GOA - 5 February 2012

Garbage keeps Germans away from Goa: Consulate

 

PANAJI: Consulate general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai Leopold-Theodor Heldman said that Goa needs to handle its garbage on a priority basis as uncleanliness in Goa, especially on its beaches, is a major factor turning German tourists away.

Speaking to STOI, Heldman also said that Goa should undertake measures to discourage "drug tourism" if it wanted to sustain itself and take on international competitors. The Germans were the first charter tourists to set foot on the soil of Goa in the season of 1985-86. Interestingly, their numbers have never been able to grow past the 5% share in the tourist market for Goa.

This despite the fact that the state government-ministers, tourism directors, staff et al-have been religiously attending ITB-Berlin in Germany ever since the 1990s. "For beaches, many Germans head to South Africa. It's much cleaner there. Goa has the potential but it has not been put to value," Heldman said.

The travel and tourism association of Goa informed the government last year that Goa lost one major tour operator from Scandinavia. The tour operator said that garbage was strewn all around the place, and the health, and hygiene of its clients were worrisome factors.

"Goa should also take care not to attract tourists coming here for drugs. That is not good. Goa has plenty of competition from other tourism destinations," Heldman added.

Among the other factors also affecting Germans from booking a holiday in Goa is that the summer holiday period in the European nation does not coincide with Goa's tourism season.

Heldman also said that public transport in Goa and India lagged far behind in terms of comfort of travel which turns a holiday into an exhausting experience. "Travelling around in India can really exhaust you. The travel industry needs better organization as well. I've had to wait for two months to get railway tickets. How does someone from so far away, in Germany, book their holiday?" Heldman said.

 

 

 
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